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    1. AsianDelights is offline

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      #1

      Dealing with Chinese sourcing agents - Verifying a reliable buying company

      I want to find and buy products from China and I have heard from people in the business that I'm best off finding a good sourcing agent. But, how can I know that I can trust a Chinese sourcing agent or company? How can I be sure that they will get me the best products and price?

      Jeffery
      Over 150,000 Verified Sources + Deals 95% Off MSRP + Free Website!

    2. Thank you for this post:

      riazuk7 (07 Dec 2012), t400jewelry-Alan (28 Nov 2015)

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      #2
      Hi AsianDelights,

      Welcome to Wholesale Forum

      First of all you should establish a contract with your sourcing agent or company at every transaction. If anything goes wrong during your contractual deal, you will have a legal binding agreement to support your case. If a company refuses to work with you on contractual terms, then that is a sign that you should look for another sourcing agent. One thing that should clearly be stated in your contract is that "hidden commissions" are not allowed. Often sourcing agents will have an agreement with random manufacturers and earn a commission for finding new overseas buyers, which means that you won't get the best price or quality and the best suppliers will actually be disregarded in favor of a higher commission for the agent.

      To test if an agent is as good as they claim, you can have them carry out some small trial tasks to see how they perform. You might use their services to source a sample, then test them to import the sample and if you like their service and quality of the product, you can increase your order volume gradually to verify consistency over time. Once you build up trust, you can proceed to the next increase / product and so on.

      If you are looking to source a variety of products from China and plan to continue sourcing from Chinese suppliers in the future, consider working with a buying / sourcing office, which will normally have more experience in a variety of industries. Also, buying / sourcing offices will be incorporated companies, which are easier to verify than an individual acting as a sourcing agent, and easier to chase legally in case of any issues. An individual sourcing agent might well disappear if things start going wrong, and would be a lot more difficult to trace.

      Have a look at the following threads to find China sourcing companies who advertise their services on Wholesale Forum:To find more threads about sourcing from China, you can have a look at the following results:If you want to start looking for verified Chinese suppliers and manufacturers without even having to go through the process of verifying and hiring a China sourcing agent, we recommend some services which have done all the hard work for you in verifying Chinese suppliers. They offer a cost effective and safe way of sourcing exactly what you are looking for from China. To find literally thousands of verified Chinese trade suppliers, try the three largest online trade directories of verified wholesale suppliers eSources, Wholesale Deals and Worldwide Brands. All three list tens of thousands of verified wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers and drop shippers.

      Hope this helps
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    4. fashionaline is offline

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      #3
      good job, thank you!

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      frizzy (29 Nov 2012)

    6. experience is offline

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      #4

      Visit China or trade fairs in your own country

      I have imported direct from China for 22 years and have never used a sourcing agent. There are various ways of locating reliable manufacturers but none can beat actually visiting the country and talking face to face with potential suppliers.

      If you cannot spare the time, effort, or cost to travel there, I suggest you look out for suitable trade fairs either in the UK or on the continent. There you can get to meet people who may supply what you want. The fact that you have met personally and can refer to that meeting in later communication gives you a big advantage, because Chinese people value relationships.

      In my little book dealing with the subject I strongly recommend dealing only with manufacturers rather than wholesalers or agents, even if you only want to place small orders.

    7. Dipper is offline

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      #5

      Quote:

      In my little book dealing with the subject I strongly recommend dealing only with manufacturers rather than wholesalers or agents, even if you only want to place small orders.
      Why would you only deal with manufacturers?

    8. experience is offline

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      #6

      Dealing only with manufacturers

      Firstly, wholesalers and resellers add their margin to the ex-factory price, so there goes part of your potential profit.

      Secondly, agents cost money whether it is paid by the manufacturer or by you.

      Thirdly, agents often do not have sufficient influence with the manufacturers to ensure that I get the quality control, prompt delivery, and flexibility that I need.

    9. Dipper is offline

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      #7
      Yeah, a lot of people use cost as the reason not to use a third party to assist them with sourcing/buying. Problem is that its not necessarily true.

      Even companies like Walmart use assistance to source/buy products on occasons. If companies like that use them, there must be some benefit in it for them.

      Let me start by stating that I own a sourcing company that has been going since 1987, so I have a bit of knowledge in this area. Here are some reasons why it may actually be better to use someone to help with product buying or sourcing:-


      1. If you are looking to order 1000 pieces of a product from a factory and I, as a trader, have previously ordered 100,000 of that item from the same factory, who do you think is going to get the better price usually??? (On occasion, goods can be obtained at less cost than what the factory would have supplied to you.)

      2. If you have a problem with your order how much will it cost you to fix the problem in time, cost etc. If I am reasonably local and have someone who can speak the local lingo and knows the local way to do business, is there not some cost benefit or saving in that.

      3. It may be that a local trader has access to suppliers through their network that are not so easy to find. (On several occasions, we have used suppliers that are not included on B2B websites and it is therefore not possible to easily locate them)

      4. In a trusted relationship between a buyer and a trader, the trader can essentially be the local “eyes and ears” that keeps informed about the local market and products. Especially by regularly visiting trade fairs and perhaps regular factory visits.(As an example, my company will regularly advise our customers about new or different product options that may fall within their possible circle of interest.)

      5. Some factories are not always the most proactive or knowledgeable in gaining or trying to understand new business opportunities, and having someone as the point between buyer and supplier can offer a much more streamlined service.

      So maybe you don't see value in these things. I do.

      I reckon if I owned a retail business I'd rather be spending my time trying to find ways to sell my products rather than spending time on IDD phone calls trying to chase up an order. I'd rather have someone doing all that grunt work for me, which is what a good agent would be doing. To me it is more about what is the best use of your time.

      You employ an acountant to do your books, maybe a business coach to help learn sales and marketing skills, why not hire someone whose speciality is sourcing?? Just maybe they are better at it, and can save rather than cost extra. This is of course on the proviso that you have selected well. But then hiring a good accountant is the same.

    10. Thank you for this post:

      kmark (31 Mar 2013)

    11. experience is offline

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      #8

      Thanks Dipper

      I have no doubt that Dipper's company provides a useful service for those who cannot or do not wish to do their own research and personally visit China.

      I appreciate Dipper's comments, and without attaching a copy of my entire book I cannot answer them in detail, but here are some quick comments and I am sorry if they sound a bit like an advertisement.

      Among other things, my book shows how to ensure that you really do get the best price, but more importantly how to ensure you get the quality standards, reliable service and response to problems that a good customer should expect. I describe how I have visited factories that produce excellent quality and in the same factory they produce low grade products made down to a price.

      It also shows how to source items outside the B2B websites, some of which are of dubious value. In addition I show how to source products in various other countries.

      I do say also that there may be times when using a local agent is desirable and I explain why.

      Finally I also recommend using and paying for the services of people with certain knowledge that could take months or even years to acquire personally. For me that has not included sourcing agents because I have always enjoyed traveling and learning local customs, both business and social.

    12. jack h is offline

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      #9
      trust is the result of long time business. best price is the first time we take consideration but the service and quality are we more care about .Hope you have a healthy and successful business in the new year
      regards
      jack

    13. experience is offline

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      #10
      Jack H is quite right when he says: "trust is the result of long time business."

      The problem for new importers is how to locate suppliers that they can rely upon. Some B2B sites offer a list of suppliers which include "verified" suppliers, but can you trust those sites?

      I have a list of many sites that should be avoided like the plague. One such site has a name identical to a safe site that I have in my list of recommended sites, but the dangerous site is all hyphenated. It offers "verified" suppliers, but many budding importers have lost their money in dealing with them.
      To learn safe overseas sourcing and how to buy small (or large) quantities at best prices see→ http://provenchinasourcing.comLearn to find genuine manufacturers and negotiate small orders at prices way below what wholesalers charge. Written after my health enforced retirement and provides insider information from veteran with experience exporting 1978-1987 importing since 1987 Learn to import the easy way

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